NBA: Warriors rain down treys in rout of Wolves, Durant accounts for 6 of 21 after US$15k fine for rant

Kevin Durant passes the ball between Jeff Teagueand Taj Gibson at Oracle Arena on Jan 25, 2018 in Oakland, California.
Kevin Durant passes the ball between Jeff Teagueand Taj Gibson at Oracle Arena on Jan 25, 2018 in Oakland, California. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) The Golden State Warriors bombed in 21 three-pointers on Thursday (Jan 25) night, one shy of their franchise record, en route to a 126-113 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Oakland, California.

Kevin Durant hit six of nine three-point attempts to account for a majority of his 28 points, leading the Warriors to their 19th victory in the past 22 meetings with the Timberwolves.

The game was played shortly after Durant learnt he had been drafted onto LeBron James' team for the All-Star Game in Los Angeles next month.

The opposing All-Star captain, Warriors star Stephen Curry, selected team-mates Thompson and Draymond Green, as well as Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler, onto his 12-man team.

Butler missed Thursday's game, his fourth consecutive absence, due to a sore right knee.

Earlier on Thursday, the NBA fined Durant US$15,000 (S$19,600) despite his apology for ranting at the officiating during Tuesday night's game.

The forward was punished for accusing referee James Williams of holding a grudge against him that led to Durant's ejection during win over the New York Knicks.

The next day, Durant apologised for the incident and a day later, the National Basketball Referees Association tweeted that it accepted it.

Durant said Wednesday: "I looked at the plays, a couple techs, and I was being... a jerk.

"That one foul at the end wasn't a foul. I shouldn't have slammed the ball down like I did. I can go back and say that I was being a jerk last night, and I deserve whatever the league is going to throw at me. I wish I could apologise to James because that was out of my character."

Meeting as division leaders for just the second time in the 29-year history of the Timberwolves organisation, the Warriors made 21 of their 37 three-point attempts, outscoring the visitors 63-18 from beyond the arc.

Towns was the game's high scorer with 31 points for the Timberwolves, who shot just six-for-20 on three-point tries.

Thompson and Curry scored 25 points apiece. The Warriors improved to 27-2 in the last two seasons when Durant, Thompson and Curry have tallied 20 or more apiece in the same game.

Curry's first basket of the game - a three-pointer - allowed him to pass the 14,000-point milestone, just the fifth player in Warriors history to reach the mark.

Durant, who finished the game with a bruised right elbow, completed a triple-double with 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Andre Iguodala added 10 points for the Warriors, who won for the sixth time in their past seven games.

Golden State hosts the Boston Celtics on Saturday night to complete a three-game home stand.

Towns had a team-high 11 rebounds for Minnesota. Taj Gibson also recorded a double-double for the Timberwolves with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Minnesota placed six players in double figures, including Jamal Crawford (21 points), Jeff Teague (17), Nemanja Bjelica (11) and Andrew Wiggins (10).

The Timberwolves, who lost 123-114 at Portland on Wednesday night, fell to 3-4 on the second night of back-to-backs.

The Warriors never trailed, using a 38-point first quarter to build as much as a 16-point advantage in the first half.

Golden State made 10 three-pointers in the first half, with Durant (three-for-four), Curry (three-for-five) and Thompson (two-for-two) combining for eight of them.